What do we really know about the Russian.
The history of the name of Russia is just as convoluted as the history of Russia itself:
It like all countries involves conquest, power struggles, dissolution, and reunification, all are integral part of the way we perceive the world that we rarely ponder their origins.
Modern Russia derives its name from the Kevian Rus’, the ancestors of Russia, Ukraine, and Belarus.
The name Rus’ comes from an Old Norse word for ‘the men who row.’‘ and the men who rowed’ were Vikings who arrived from the territory of modern-day Sweden and became dominant in the region for at least a few centuries.
The Vikings rowed from Sweden to the now-Russian territories and down the rivers all the way to Ukraine. The earliest sources mentioning the Rus’ come from the beginning and middle of the ninth century from Byzantium, Persia, and France.
The Soviet Union Collapses On December 25, 1991 replaced by 15 independent countries: Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Estonia, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Latvia, Lithuania, Moldova, Russia, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Ukraine, and Uzbekistan.
Russia’s name truly is a mirror in which Russia itself is reflected with a tendency to swing from one extreme to the other has been very noticeable during the past quarter of a century.
We must remember that before 1914 Russia was predominantly a backward agricultural country. Until modern times Russia’s geographic “remoteness” from the rest of the world and her inaccessibility except by land or air routes have had afar-reaching influence on her history.
If one thinks about Russia today it conjures up many names associated with its existence.
In no particular or historical order here are a few.
Peter the Great, Karl Marx, Josef Stalin, Lenin, Bolshevik Revolution, Khrushchev, Leon Trotsky, Moscow Red Square, St Petersburg, Yuri Gagarin, Vodka, KGB, Trans-Siberian Railway. Stalingrad, Volga River, Doctor Zhivago, Mikhail Gorbachev, Boris Yeltsin, Roman Abramovich, Oligarchs, Alexey Navalny, Communism. Chernobyl, Putin.
In fact what we are talking about is a enormous country with a surface area of 17.13 million square kilometres, with 643 billion trees –holding around 20% of the world’s freshwater, providing 27% of the EU’s crude oil imports, 41% of its natural gas, and 47% of its solid fuel (such as coal) with a population of 146,069,910, speaking at least 270 languages and dialects, a nuclear superpower, separated from the USA by just 4km of water.
No country is entirely self-sufficient but it possesses some of the richest natural resources of any country in the world.
Indeed, as the world’s third-largest oil producer Russia has yet to make renewable energy an absolute priority.
For Russia’s domestic audience there is no doubt about the “greatness” of the country, which makes it an indispensable player in international politics and deserves recognition by other major powers.
This means that Moscow is driven primarily by security concerns; viewed from such a perspective, the actions against Georgia and Ukraine could be aimed at preventing NATO expansion.
The annexation of Crimea in 2013 and now its involvement into conflict with Ukraine have led to the country being perceived as a revisionist power and breaker of international norms.
Russia’s communist system is a form of socialism—a higher and more advanced form, according to its advocates. A political and economic doctrine that aims to replace private property and a profit-based economy with public ownership and communal control of at least the major means of production (e.g., mines, mills, and factories) and the natural resources of a society.
Although the term communism did not come into use until the 1840s—it is derived from the Latin communis, meaning “shared” or “common”— You might not believe it but for much of the 20th century, in fact, about one-third of the world’s population lived under communist regimes.
It was neither a religious upheaval nor a civil war but a technological and economic revolution—the Industrial Revolution of the late 18th and early 19th centuries—that provided the impetus and inspiration for modern communism.
Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine.
To understand Russia’s foreign policy we must bear in mind that, by and large, the Stalin regime has acted in world affairs not on the basis of Marxist doctrine, but on the basis of Russia’s national interests.
Stalin’s principal objectives have been to make Russia independent of the rest of the world in a military and economic sense and to protect the security of the Soviet Union against external attack during the period of “building socialism in one country.”
What is really puzzling about Russian foreign policy (and very much deserves further exploration) now is the positioning of Russia in various scales: regional, macro-regional (Eurasian), and global, and their compatibility and (in) consistency, as well as (and at the same time) Russian positioning with regards to its main neighbours, China and the European Union.
“The question we ought to be asking ourselves is why did NATO even exist after 1990?
If NATO was to stop Communism, why is it now expanding to Russia?”
It is important to note that not everyone in the world subscribes to the western ideas of democracy, or even to democracy itself. Not being a democracy is nothing illegal — it may sound regressive in today’s world but it is not illegal.
To try to intimidate and arm-twist a nuclear superpower in the name of democracy unfortunately now has terrible consequences for the Ukrainians and will never work.
Whether the war in Ukraine lasts weeks, months, or years, depends on individual actions that run the gamut from those of world leaders, to ordinary citizens and soldiers. Soldiers are most likely to disobey orders when they recognize that a war will not achieve its objectives, or that they are fighting for their leaders’ survival and against their own interests.
In order to end a war, a leader’s chances of political and physical survival must be taken into calculation.
An outright defeat of Russia in Ukraine may actually translate into a death sentence for Russian President Vladimir Putin. One would expect Russia therefore to lower its demands but we’ve seen very little evidence of that so far—only the demand of denazification seems to have been dropped.
In a regime like Russia—which is clearly not a democracy, but also not quite a dictatorship—if you win a war, you’re the great hero; if you lose a war, you have shown your incompetence and you’ll be removed
In a recent speech, Putin called the borders drawn after World Wars I and II illegitimate. He said the borders that were drawn by Lenin and by Stalin, partially as a result of the First and Second World War, are illegitimate and have to go. And if those borders have to go, well, then there is no obvious stopping point:
The question is, which empire does he think needs reconstituting? Is it the Soviet Union? Or is it Tsarist Russia? And if it’s the latter—and there are some indications in his speeches that he does mean the latter—then Poland and other countries are going to be justifiably worried.
Putin, now seems to be committing himself to total victory. If he can’t get it, he’ll be responsible and that makes a coup against him more likely.
Putin must come home with some kind of victory because otherwise he’s literally dead.
Are Russians really going to bomb Kyiv, a so-called “hero city of the Soviet Union,” into rubble like they did with Chechnya’s capital Grosny? Are they willing to kill tens of thousands of people?
No one knows.
He wants to prevent more of these revolutions and prevent a democratic encirclement of countries around him, which could provide a safe haven for Russian dissidents who’d be dangerous to Putin’s political survival. Both of these goals overlap in the sense that he is seeking regime change, which is a dangerous game.
There’s also an interlocking commitment problem here:
Ukraine cannot promise not to join NATO in the long term, which Russia sees as a threat to its borders. At the same time, Russia can’t promise credibly not to ask for more if Ukraine made some concessions now, whether it be territorial concessions, regime change, or a promise not to join NATO.
So the question is.
If there’s a coup against Putin, what would the new Russian government insist on? They’re not necessarily all going to say, “Okay, sorry Ukraine, we made a mistake. Please excuse us.” And Ukrainians would not necessarily accept that anyway. Most likely, Ukraine would strengthen its demands and want Crimea back, resulting in ongoing bloodshed, pulverizing of Ukrainian cities, coupled with insurgencies.
Russia will never have full control of Ukraine. The West—that is Western Democracies—cannot, in my opinion, accept a victorious Putin.
We should not forget those people who are fighting and the costs they are willing to shoulder. Many of them will die because of Putin’s folly.
We’re in a situation where either success or failure both present horrible, dangerous situations, we’d better be very careful and think very, very carefully about what we can do, and perhaps what we cannot do, and prepare accordingly. You don’t want to corner Putin with sanctions to the extent that he feels that he must gamble—all or nothing.
We now at the point that Putin is afraid domestic enemies might overthrow and kill him, and there’s little the West can do to address those fears. The only avenue worth exploring in peace negotiations might be true plebiscites, overseen by international observers.
All human comments appreciated. All like clicks and abuse chucked in the bin